Underground Railroad (Burner, 1998)

David Burner et al., Firsthand America: A History of the United States, 5th ed., (St. James, N.Y.: Brandywine Press, 1998), 417.
[Harriet Tubman’s] rebellious temperament, combined with this odd malady, set her apart from others in her youth, and she absorbed a brand of millennial slave Christianity. Marriage to a free black, John Tubman, further aroused her questioning about slavery and freedom, but the difficulty of escape and concern for her parents and husband held her back until 1849, when the death of her owner led her to fear being sold into the deep South. Harriet headed north, traveling by night, and with help from some sympathetic whites made her way to Pennsylvania.

And so she did, earning money as best she could to finance such desperate ventures. Joining with the loose network of free blacks and Quakers – out of whose limited activities post-Civil War legend created the “Underground Railroad,” complete with “switching station,” “conductors,” and “brakemen” – and traveling without benefit of maps or signs, she brought back from Maryland first her relatives, then other slaves, and finally her aged parents. Even in December 1860, with political turmoil over slavery at its height, Harriet made her last trip south before the war, returning with seven slaves, one of them an infant…
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